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Food Experiments in the Unit Operations Lab. Mohammad Biswas, Laura Kelley, William Josephson & David Mills Chemical Engineering Dept. Auburn University 2007 AIChE Annual Meeting Salt Lake City, Utah. The Lab. CHEN 3820 – Chemical Engineering Laboratory I Jr Level Course

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food experiments in the unit operations lab

Food Experimentsin the Unit Operations Lab

Mohammad Biswas, Laura Kelley,

William Josephson & David Mills

Chemical Engineering Dept.

Auburn University

2007 AIChE Annual Meeting

Salt Lake City, Utah

the lab
The Lab

CHEN 3820 – Chemical Engineering Laboratory I

  • Jr Level Course
  • 2,3 or 4 person groups
  • Texts by Geankoplis & Taylor
  • Objectives include
    • Reinforcement of fundamentals
    • Tech writing
    • Data analysis
  • Experiments go for 2 x 3 hour sessions & include
    • Pump
    • Piping
    • Fluidized Bed
fall 06 the challenge
FALL ’06 - The Challenge

“Design an experiment that teaches something about food”

My motivation – lack of knowledge, desire for variety, importance of the topic

My expectations – chemistry heavy approach

group alpha s proposal
Group Alpha’s Proposal

Investigate relationship between boiling time & spaghetti stickiness

from group alpha
from Group Alpha

• Objectives

o Generally, you are to determine the relationship between

boiling time and stickiness of spaghetti noodles.

o You should also consult other sources while investigating why spaghetti will stick to a ceiling or wall when it is “done.”

from group alpha9
from Group Alpha

• Operation – Normal

o Remove a few spaghetti noodles from boiling water at regular time intervals

o be sure to use caution when removing the spaghetti noodles from boiling water

o Throw noodles at a nearby wall to check for ‘al dente’

o Record visual observations on firmness, color, and stickiness

from group alpha10
from Group Alpha

Background

• Students should be able to utilize resources from outside of the classroom such as the internet to explore what is changing in the noodles with respect to cooking time. Students should understand that it is the starch in the noodles that gives the stickiness to them. As the noodles cook longer the starch is leached from the noodles into the surrounding water. Some of the starch breaks down into the sugar dextrin, coats the noodles and makes them sticky when removed from the water. Maltose and glucose are also products of the starch degradation and contribute to the pasta’s stickiness.

• Students should examine what would happen if the noodles were cooked in a very large amount of water, or a very small amount of water? The starch concentration would vary as would the stickiness of the noodles.

from group alpha11
from Group Alpha

Discussion

• Students should understand and state that as the length of

cooking time is increasing the concentration of starch in the

surrounding water is increasing. This means that as cooking time increases the spaghetti noodles should be growing stickier and stick better to a wall.

• It should also be understood that as cooking time increases

more water is impregnating the noodles themselves, moving

closer toward being fully saturated. This causes the noodle to

lose rigidity and become more pliable.

group bravo s proposal
Group Bravo’s Proposal

The Fat-O-Meter (aka “Hot Fat”)

group bravo s proposal13
Group Bravo’s Proposal

Q = m CPΔT

Use the Easy Bake to determine fat content?

Procedure – standard sample size, standard heating time, monitor ΔT

group charlie s proposal
Group Charlie’s Proposal

Generate Drying Curves

group charlie s proposal18
Group Charlie’s Proposal

Bake Cookies

Vary initial water content, shape

Monitor water content via weighing

spring 06
SPRING ’06

No food experiment

But….

summer 07 beyond
SUMMER ’07 & beyond…

Butter Experiment has been part of CHEN 3820

Base Case is w/ KitchenAid mixer & whipping cream

Parameters include

  • Heavy vs Regular Whipping Cream
  • Salt amount
  • KitchenAid vs Manual Agitation

My Expectations

butter results background understanding
Butter Results Background & Understanding

Fat in milk exist as droplets covered in a membrane. The churning process breaks this membrane exposing the fat globules. Additional churning results in the globules coalescing into a separate fat phase3.

All fats, including milk fat, are triesters of glycerol. These molecules contain three carboxyl groups and have three long organic tails as can be seen in the saturated fat molecule seen in Fig.2.

Figure 2: Saturated fat molecule

http://scholar.hw.ac.uk/site/chemistry/graphics/saturfat.gif

As was previously stated, adding salt to milk or whipped cream can reduce churning time. This phenomenon could be the result of the electrostatic interactions between the long organic chains of the fat and the ions introduced into the milk emulsion.

the future of food experiments in chen 3820
The Future of Food Experimentsin CHEN 3820

Butter – will continue, will tweak (e.g., yield)

Mixing Experiment?

Corn Starch?

May repeat student designed experiment

a sincere thank you
A Sincere Thank You

To the students

in

CHEN 3820 Chemical Engineering Laboratory I